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Friday, May 11, 2012
Shaw says he doesn't want to be a voter

By Kevin Gemmell

Pretty interesting and insightful column earlier this week by Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham (Ala.) News about Stanford coach David Shaw saying that he doesn't want to be a voter again in the coaches' poll.

Shaw
Writes Scarbinsky:
Bright as he is, Shaw took on an intellectual challenge last year that he would just as soon never tackle again. In his first year as a Division I head coach, he voted in the USA Today poll.

Shaw reflected on that memory Tuesday during a teleconference of Pac-12 football coaches.

"I don't want to be a voter again because I think it's impossible," he said.

Someone should write that down, run off copies and send one to every Division I conference commissioner and university president while they're still trying to figure out what the college football postseason will look like when the BCS contracts expire after the 2013 season.

He goes on to list a number of reasons why coaches shouldn't even have their own poll, and a lot of them make sense. I vote in ESPN's weekly poll, but that doesn't have any bearing on the BCS. Still, I find myself struggling on Saturday nights/Sunday mornings to read box scores, game stories, try to catch some highlights on the Web to validate why I have Michigan at No. 12 instead of No. 14.

Voting -- really, taking the time to do it right -- is hard. And most coaches simply don't have the time or energy to cast an unbiased vote that actually does have some bearing. There's a reason it's jokingly called the sports information directors' poll.

There are a lot of voters in the Associated Press poll who take it extremely seriously and they put in the homework. And there are some who don't. I've seen writers (no names) filling out their top 25 like a student scrambling to finish a multiple-choice test before time's up: "C, C, C, C, C, C,C" without even thinking. The debate comes at an interesting time in college football. Speaking with almost every coach in the Pac-12 last week at the spring meetings in Arizona, the consensus among them was that they wanted some input on how the teams in a playoff are selected. But they also want to take a lot of the human element out of it -- meaning do what you can to settle it on the field. Axing one poll would go a long way toward taking the human element out.